Second Week of Advent

Readings
First Scripture Reading
Isaiah 40: 1-11
Gospel Reading
Matthew 18: 12-14

Opening Prayer

Strong and Gentle Shepherd, you are carrying us home. You instill in our hearts rising expectations of tenderness, of being found, of valleys and hills leveled, inequalities balanced, and detours straightened when you breathe your creative Spirit again into us. Sometimes I am like a desert, thirsting for your breath and your living waters. Despite dryness and disappointment, I still get excited about you coming and expect great things, because you are the Great and Faithful Shepherd of your people. Sometimes I do feel lost, disconnected and alone, but you always come after me, even in subtle and deceptive ways. Thank you for always taking the initiative to save the whole people – and to save me. You never let us stray too far. Carry me in your strong and powerful arms, and I will join all creation in singing your praises. In Blessed Juan Diego, we see again how you choose to come to the poor, lowly, downtrodden and dispossessed to show your presence through your Mom. Help us to see and expect you in lowly and surprising places and ways. Help us to listen to your hope – filled shepherd’s voice calling us back to your pasture.

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